Lori Berenson and Peru

November 26, 1997

Nearly two years ago — on January 11, 1996 — hooded judges in a secret Peruvian military tribunal sentenced Lori Berenson, a 27-year-old American political activist, to life imprisonment for alleged terrorist activities. She was not permitted to call or cross examine witnesses, or present evidence in her defense.

The complete lack of due process in her case has sparked an international campaign to win a re-trial. Last summer, 20 US Senators and 87 Representatives wrote to Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori asking him to take steps to ensure that Berenson be retried before a civilian court which upholds internationally recognized rights of due process.

Lori Berenson is serving out her sentence in Peru’s Yanamayo prison, a maximum security facility high in the Andes.


  • Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat Congressmember from New York who visited Lori Berenson last month at Yanamayo prison
  • Rhoda Berenson, a physics professor at Nassau Community College in Long Island, New York
  • Mark Bernson, a statistician at Baruch College of the City University of New York